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Home > Resources > Our Reviews > Basis Checkout | My Account | Help

Reviews

Basis Turntables

The philosophies underlying Basis designs are sound principles of physics; provable concepts that result in the most accurate replay of records possible. Precise execution of those principles is critical, and you’ll find Basis turntables are made with exacting care and precision machining unsurpassed in the industry.
                Central to A.J. Conti’s design philosophy is the Basis System Approach
of product development. Here each individual subsystem contributing to the performance of the product is identified. Specific goals for the performance of each subsystem are developed based on the function of that system. Each system is designed, based on fundamental principles of physics, and then tested and optimized to perform its function to the highest level. Only after each system has demonstrated superior performance at its defined function is it approved for use in the final product. The result is a totally engineered product. When looking at other products it can be obvious that the designer has “fallen in love” with a certain aspect of a product. This may be a novel shape, a supposed isolator made of many layers of materials, or an unusual material. Such shortsighted, incomplete designs are all too common in the record player field and result in one-dimensional performance. With the Basis Systems Approach, the buyer is assured of a complete design, a truly refined final product that will withstand the test of time by performing at a state of the art level for decades.

            There is solid engineering and precision fabrication behind every Basis product. To appreciate the level of sophistication, let’s examine the thinking behind each main component of the turntable system. 
            Bearing design: Key to the performance of any turntable is the bearing. Background noise, micro-dynamics, speed stability and even timbre are all directly affected by bearing quality. Basis uses a micro-hone finishing technique that accurately grinds the bearing to an ultra-precise one ten-thousandths of an inch (.0001) tolerance. The oil well design of the bearing is both quieter and smoother running than inverted bearing designs.
You can spend five times more on other turntables and not receive a bearing of this silence or smoothness.
            Motor: Probably second only in importance to the bearing is the motor. The motor affects turntable performance in the areas of background silence, grain, sound-field cues and of course, speed stability. Basis employs an ultra high quality  synchronous instrument motor with a custom designed, proprietary magnet assembly. This motor type is extremely smooth running with exceptionally low cogging and vibration. Basis’ measurements have shown that multiple motors, large motors and round o-ring style belts can result in a one-hundred fold increase in noise when compared to the Basis drive system.
            Platter: The platter should be balanced and machined to very tight tolerances for lowest run out (flatness the platter surface and roundness). The platter material should be inherently non resonant and well damped.
            Suspension:
A properly suspended turntable will always outperform one with no suspension, and yet a poorly designed suspension is far worse than none at all. Full understanding of mass-spring-damper theory is necessary to correctly design a turntable suspension, and not all designs conform to those laws of physics. Using well respected principles, the Basis Resonance Annihilators silicone damped fluid suspension system design gives outstanding performance across the full audio band. Measurements of the Basis turntable using their suspension system show a difference of 50dB when compared to similarly sized unsuspended turntables from other manufacturers.
             Located close to the right rear Resonance Annihilator, the tonearm directly benefits from its close proximity to the damping pod through reduced vibration.
             Belt: It may sound strange that we would talk about the belt, but the Basis Revolution sets a new standard in the industry and is, well, revolutionary. The complete story is beyond the scope of this introduction, but I invite you to download the PDF. The belt is available to all Basis owners and is a great way to get a boost in performance (yes, a belt will do that) for a modest cost.


The Turntables


Model 2000/2001 Signature - The 2000 Signature offers the same motor and pulley found on their top-of-the-line 'table, the Basis Debut Gold Standard. The acrylic platter is of "uniblock" construction with the "mat" machined into the surface. The solid acrylic cast sub-chassis is said to be dimensioned for optimum energy dissipation. The small footprint is also very user friendly at only 16" x 12" (excluding motor, which adds about 3.5" to the depth). The Signature 2001 adds the extraordinarily effective effective fluid damped active suspension. The system provides outstanding  isolation from structure-borne vibration, resulting in tighter more controlled bottom end, blacker background and more powerful transient attack. (note: Photo shows 2001 Signature with optional Vector Tonearm and Calibrator Base)

SPECIFICATIONS
Overall dimensions: 16.7" W x 15"D (including motor) x 5.5" H
Overall weight: 25 pounds
Shipping weight: 32 pounds
Color: Clear acrylic, silver trim
Revolution Belt included
Price: 2000 - $3400. 2001 - $4500


Model 2200 Signature - The latest creation from Basis Audio, the 2200 is a brilliant mix of performance and value. Borrowing heavily from the 2500, the 2200 achieves a remarkable level of resolution at the price point.
             The 2200 platter is machined from a solid block of stress-relieved acrylic. Its thickness, like the thickness of the 2200 subchassis, is closer to the thickness of the 2500 platter than to that of the 2001. Please see the images of the 2200 at basisaudio.com. You will note that even in two-dimensional images on the computer screen the massive nature of the 2200 is obvious. The surfaces that mate to the bearing are derived from the Debut platter/bearing mating system. A large horizontal diameter forms the vertical mating surface. The result is undetectable vertical motion of the 2200 Signature platter as it rotates, meaning less woofer pumping and less amplifier strain. The vertical motion of the rotating 2200 platter is equivalent to the thickness of a human hair or less. The radial location is provided by a pair of concentric cylindrical surfaces, which provide superior accuracy to the ubiquitous tapered shaft so often seen in lesser products. The superior radial precision of this fit forces the outer belt-driven surface of the platter to be perfectly centered, again guaranteeing the great speed stability of the 2200 Signature.
        In his review for The Absolute Sound, Paul Seydor writes: "
I’ve been setting up turntables and listening to vinyl for almost forty years, and as a reviewer I’ve had opportunities to hear under pretty reliable conditions many of the high‑end turntable/arm combinations that are thought to define the current state of the art. Ironically, I’ve never heard the higher Basis models. I assume they must be better, but until I do hear them, the 2200/Vector has for me redefined what is possible in the playback of vinyl sources."

SPECIFICATIONS
Overall dimensions: 16.7"W x 15"D (including motor) x 5.5" H
Overall weight: 35 pounds
Shipping weight: 42 pounds
Color: Clear acrylic, silver trim.
Revolution Belt included
Price: $5600

2200 Signature Reviews: Absolute Sound, Hi Fi News, Absolute Sound Product of the Year 2008


Model 2500 Signature -  At the top of the Basis 2000 Series sits the model 2500 Signature and 2800 Signature turntable with vacuum clamping. Their 2" thick composite platter (same as is used on Debut turntable) sits on an ultra-close tolerance bearing which is mounted to a a massive 2", stress-relieved acrylic plinth. The combination produce breathtaking results.
    The 2500 features the Debut Signature Series platter and bearing. The bearing is an ingenious design, unique in the history of record players. It is an oil-well design, (the smoothest, quietest bearing type) with a multi-component, two tiered structure resulting in the very desirable but seemingly impossible reality of placing the center of gravity of the platter directly between the top and bottom bushings of the bearing. Thus, the lowest possible lateral forces are achieved. The result is lower friction and lower noise, which yields the silent backgrounds, low grain, utterly transparent, and effortless sound for which the 2500 is known. (note: Photo shows 2500 Signature with optional Vector Tonearm and Calibrator Base)
          The optional Basis Vacuum Record Hold-Down System applies a controlled level of negative pressure to the underside of the record guaranteeing a perfectly flat record that is so effectively coupled to the platter that record resonance is totally eliminated. Each record becomes a twenty-pound record! The true musical tonality and texture captured on the record are revealed, without any added coloration of vinyl resonance. No system, other than gluing the record to the platter, can result in such perfect resonance control. Tests of record outer rings, never considered at Basis due to resonance problems of their own as well as the danger they present to the stylus, show only a twenty percent coupling compared to the Basis Vacuum System. The vacuum system restores even the most warped record to exact flatness, eliminating speaker damaging and power robbing “woofer pumping” due to record warps. Dynamics, imaging, musicality, bass power, and tracking ability are all brought to levels unreachable without the Basis Vacuum system.

SPECIFICATIONS
Overall dimensions: 16.7" W x 15" D (including motor) x 5.5" H
Overall weight: 45 pounds, Vacuum version: 65 pounds
Shipping weight: 52 pounds Vacuum version: 80 pounds
Color: Vacuum or non-vacuum version; Clear acrylic/silver trim (DIAMOND configuration), black acrylic/silver trim, black acrylic/black trim.
Revolution Belt included
Price: 2500 - $10500. 2800 - $15100

Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award winner

2800 Signature Reviews:
Absolute Sound pdf
Enjoy The Music


Work of Art - No expense was spared in the creation of the Basis flagship design. This turntable A.J.Conti offers a product that represents the summation of his well respected engineering and fabrication abilities. All the knowledge gained and lessons learned over Mr. Conti’s entire career have been poured into this project.
        For the ultimate in neutral sound, the support structure for the suspension must be extremely rigid with any resonant frequency falling outside the audio range. The Work of Art supports in each corner are massive, machined from billet, architecturally shaped beam arms. To eliminate flexure the support arms are over-engineered to such a degree that each could support a full sized truck despite being cantilever beams in nature. To further reduce deflection at predominant natural frequencies the cross-sectional area of each arm is modulated as a function of height. The moment of inertia of a structural beam is directly proportional to the third power of the thickness, with the flexural properties gaining a concomitant third power change in magnitude. Along with the lack of parallel sides on any surface of the structure, the results are supports that are massively rigid with a randomized resonant response well above the audio range. The sonic result is a structure which forms a perfect, neutral hanging point for the fluid damped suspension system.
          Many will desire this wonder; few will have the resources to actually own one. At a cost of $131000, this is an expensive product. If you are one of those fortunate enough to consider this analog rig, you’ll savor the pleasure of owning the very best. Let’s see, if I take out a second mortgage…

SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions: 29" W x 19" D x 42" H
Overall weight: 400 pounds
Shipping weight: 550 pounds
Options: Non-vacuum version; numerous color options for stand sub-plate


Model

Price

2000 Signature - Fixed suspension

$3400

2001 Signature - Active suspension

$4500

2200 Signature - Active Suspension

$5600

2500 Signature- Active suspension

$10500

2800  Signature Vacuum - Active suspension

$15100

Debut Signature - A stunning turntable

$15900

Debut Signature Vacuum - A stunning turntable

$20500

Work of Art - A.J. Conti's statement

$131000

Vector 3 Tonearm

$3800

Synchro-Wave Power Supply $3900
Revolution Belt $125

Vector 3 Tonearm

       A.J. Conti’s 16 years of analog design experience have been poured into the Vector tonearm, which employs a unique strategy of combining elements from both unipivot and fixed bearing designs. The new, advanced bearing system is said to solve problems that have plagued previous designs, including bearing chatter, lack of azimuth correction and azimuth “rocking” created by record warps.
     The Vector arm tube is fabricated using a “matrix” alloy, a metallurgical development which controls the crystalline structure, optimizing both strength and resonance control. Further internal damping is employed to yield an inert arm tube that effectively controls vibration.
      Like all Basis products, Vector is beautifully constructed. Attention to detail and fit and finish is first rate. The cutout required is the same as that for the Rega, allowing an easy upgrade path for users of this popular brand. Price is $3800 and we can put together special package pricing when purchased with a Basis turntable.
     A.J. Conti mentioned that a number of industry luminaries dropped by the CES suite and commented favorably on the Vector. Of note, the esteemed David Fletcher (designer of the Sumiko The Arm and the SOTA turntables) said "You solved some of the key problems we were never able to." Wally Malewicz (maker of Wally turntable set-up tools) noted "If I had designed this arm, I would not change one thing." Strong praise indeed from folks that know analog design.
       The ram is an engineering marvel, so it would only be fitting that the wiring was equally special. A two year development process culminated in a very special product. Rather than muddle through the concept myself, let me quote from the Basis White Paper. "In design for two years, the Basis "Perfect Signal Transmission Technology" phono cable follows the normal Basis practice of starting with the basic physics.  In the audio range capacitance and inductance of a cable changes radically as the frequency changes.  Although many erroneously feel that higher frequency signal transmission poses great problems, the reality of changing electrical properties with frequency in the audio range creates havoc with low amplitude musical signals.  Audio range signals are far more affected by phase distortion than signals at higher frequencies.  The nature of the complex functions of impedance, capacitance, and inductance are asymptotic, stabilizing at extremely high frequencies, but substantially changing at audio frequencies.  Basis solves this problem by employing "Distortionless Transmission Line Theory", balancing cable properties to achieve the single set of conditions which will result in perfect signal transmission.  The result is a phase coherent cable whose sonic traits are those which one would expect from superior phase coherency: great clarity, seamlessness and an impression of sound sources "floating mid-air", with the speakers "disappearing".     
     Of course, as with any audio product, performance is everything. Read what some of our clients say about  Vector arm.

Vector Tonearm Reviews:
Hi-Fi News

Galen,
I wanted drop a few notes on my impression of the Basis Vector Arm. I've had the arm installed for about a week. The first thing I noticed (right out of the box) is the tremendous attention to detail. As a professional engineer I can appreciate the precision that must have gone into making such a magnificent product. Most importantly, however, was when the needle hit the groove. First off, my Benz Wood tracks better with this arm than my old Shure V15 did with my old Rega. I pretty much thought that the Shure V15 was king in that department. Wrong, the Vector arm with any cartridge attached is king. Excellent results with the Vector/Benz combination. One word mostly here, bass. I had to double check my connections as I thought I had something connected incorrectly. Either that or someone had come in and placed a small sub-woofer over in the corner. Well balanced, full, deep, but not boomy at all. Like I never thought it was possible. It seems to get it right. I was listening to Dave Brubeck "Instant Brubeck" and the horns opened up, enveloped me like never before. It’s as though someone came up from behind me, hit me over the head with a large wood mallet, and said "hey, pay attention he's playing the horn . . shut up".  Sort of 3 dimensional, with two speakers. The kind of results that leave you speechless. At that moment I knew, even though I spent a lot of money, I have purchased my last tone arm. I'm pretty sure I'm getting all that I can from any cartridge I attach to it. And being able to adjust everything, I know I'm getting the most out of my vinyl collection. It's pretty much what us vinyl people shoot for. Please thank AJ for me personally as not only has he created a fine example of audio hardware, he has ensured and filled my trust in that my records will be treated well into their old age.
Print if you wish.
M. Sorbo, PE

        "Let me take a minute to tell you about this fantastic combination. My old Well Tempered table/arm was very similar to the 2001/Vector in that it presented an analog warmth that our 5" aluminum disc format can never match, but that is where the similarities end.  The WTT was a bit ripe in the mid-bass, while missing deep bass and was slightly etched sounding in the upper midrange. The 2001/Vector was a completely different animal. First and foremost, the 2001's suspension produced an extremely quiet, jet-black background.  The last time I felt this amount of silence was when I heard a VPI TNT atop an active Vibraplane.  And at one-third the cost of that setup, the 2001 is a force to be reckoned with.  Secondly, the 2001/Vector combination produced the deepest, tightest bass that I have ever heard in this price range.  The upper mids and lower highs were extremely smooth and natural.  When listening, at night, to Jennifer Warnes "Famous Blue Raincoat" I was startled more than once at the sheer realism in her voice.  I actually opened my eyes to see if she was really there. Combined with Transfiguration's Spirit cartridge, this combination is by far the best "bang-for-the-buck" package I have ever had the pleasure of listening to in my home.  Thank you so much for working with me. I look forward to many beautiful, evening listening sessions with my new analog front end.  Best Regards, David F.

      "I received the Vector yesterday in great shape!  AJ spoke very highly of yourself in a note he sent along with the tonearm instructions. And you were spot on in your assessment of the much fuller bass, and dynamics - especially the inner details that really bring the big climaxes to bear.
      Set up was a breeze. The Vector alignment gauge is apparently based on the Baerwald curve as it was a perfect match for the WallyTractor Baerwald curve. Dead on, and easier to set the overhang vs. the WallyTractor. 
       Killer tonearm! I feel like sending an email to AJ that reads "Woopee.... Wow! ..... Holy S---!........... What the?? ...... Oh Yea! ......... Damn, checkout Mingus........."
       Galen once again, this was a pleasure. As always. I couldn't agree with AJ Conti more, as you are a class act. Much appreciated."
Kevin W.

Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award winner

 

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